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Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)
Several minutes after Saturday's G-Day spring game ended, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was asked in a news conference about how the team leaders would take over in upcoming weeks, a time in which players have more freedom and responsibility.
"It kicks off from behavior tonight all the way through final exams," Smart said.
Roughly five hours later, Georgia was dealing with an unwanted offseason blemish very serious in nature.
D'Antne Demery, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound Georgia signee who was rated among the top 20 offensive tackles nationally in the 2017 signing class, was arrested Saturday night by Athens-Clarke County police and charged with misdemeanor simple battery and criminal trespass after allegedly shoving and hitting the mother of his one-month-old child.
Smart announced Sunday afternoon that Demery had been released from his national letter of intent. Demery was booked Saturday night and released early Sunday afternoon after posting a bond of $1,850, according to the Clarke County Sheriff's online booking report.
Demery, a 19-year-old from Brunswick, Ga., picked Georgia over scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Michigan and Tennessee. He was scheduled to report to Athens in June to begin classes.
According to the Athens Banner-Herald, downtown officers with the Athens-Clarke County police responded to a report of a "black male choking (strangling) a female." The victim called 911 with the desire to press charges against Demery, and then police contacted her in front of the Boar's Head Lounge, where she explained Demery had grabbed her by the back of the neck and pushed her against a wall.
The article states that after being separated by friends, Demery got back to the victim and threw her, which caused her cell phone to hit the ground and cracked its screen.
Demery's arrest and dismissal sullied an otherwise outstanding weekend, during which an announced 66,000 fans attended Saturday's game at Sanford Stadium. Smart was hoping for a tight contest and got one -- Rodrigo Blankenship's 28-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining propelled the Red team, made up of the second-team offense and starting defense, to a 25-22 triumph over the Black.
"I think we got better this spring," Smart said. "We had more sheer numbers. We had 17 offensive linemen, and there are a lot of schools who would die for 17 offensive linemen in their spring practice because you get three units."
Blankenship wound up deciding the game but had a mixed performance in kicking for both teams, going 4-for-6 on field-goal opportunities and 1-for-2 on point-after tries. The redshirt sophomore has performed for the Bulldogs as a walk-on, but it looks as though Georgia will have a scholarship kicker for 2018.
Jake Camarda, a 6-2, 175-pounder from the Atlanta suburb of Norcross, committed to the Bulldogs this past weekend. Camarda is ranked by 247Sports.com as the nation's No. 1 kicker for the 2018 class.
Contact David Paschall at [email protected] or 423-757-6524.
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